“Is that a photovoltaic array on that building? Grab it.”
“There’s a plaque that says this place is certified LEED Gold. Wonder if they got a grant from Massachusetts for an energy project . . . I put in the address. Yup, it was for an energy management system. Captured.”
“Here’s a Massachusetts clean energy QR code in the lobby of our school. Zap, got it.”
Marketers are recognizing “gamification” as a way to motivate and engage people. Instant feedback, goals, competition, ratings, onboarding, points, recognition, reputation. These game attributes play into content delivery, education, a sense of community, ways to encourage behaviors.
At the Department of Energy Resources, we’ve been thinking hard about how to get the public to recognize, learn about and engage with the Commonwealth’s clean energy accomplishments. How do we increase the number of people who know that: the Governor’s solar goal was met four years early; 4500 buildings in cities and towns monitor and enable action on real-time energy use data; thousands of homeowners have upped the heating and cooling efficiency of their houses?
We’ve been kicking around the idea of using games on smart phones. Not long ago, my colleague – I’m embarrassed that I didn’t come up with the idea first – suggested an app centered on making it fun to “identify and capture” the thousands of energy improvements enabled by state programs and funding. We could integrate it with public domain information from our Clean Energy Results Program (CERP) database that tracks clean energy projects across the state. Each improvement might be grouped by
- geography: city or town or even neighborhood
- type of improvement: efficiency, solar, renewable thermal
- who implemented it: students, commercial landlord, municipal energy committee
- facility type: municipal buildings, residences, schools, state buildings, commercial buildings
- impact: most energy saved, most money saved, greatest GHG reduction
This just might be more fun than reading a government report about Massachusetts leadership in clean energy. What do you think?
Editor’s Note: reprinted with edits from the blog, “Inflection Points in Emerging Technologies”
New Walden Pond Visitor Center Would Inspire Even Thoreau posted on Dec 17
The 335 acre Walden Pond State Reservation annually attracts 500,000 people from all over the world, who journey there not just for recreation but for inspiration. Those visitors will soon have another amenity to enjoy. Earlier this month, Governor Deval Patrick joined community leaders, other public officials, environmentalists and project partners to break ground on the Department of Conservation and Recreation’s new $8 million Walden Pond Visitor Center, designed to incorporate a wide-range of sustainable materials and technologies.
Thirteen New Green Communities: Cause for Celebration (With Cake) posted on Dec 10
The United States was created from thirteen colonies, which suggests that thirteen is a lucky number. Massachusetts just added another lucky thirteen. A new round of Green Communities – you guessed it, thirteen of them – brings the total number of cities and towns that …Continue Reading Thirteen New Green Communities: Cause for Celebration (With Cake)
How Many Inspections Does It Take To Install A Solar System? posted on Dec 4
How many municipal inspections does it take to install a residential solar photovoltaic (PV) system? Two is the magic number, however it can often be difficult to hit. In order for a solar customer to install an array, their system must obtain a building and …Continue Reading How Many Inspections Does It Take To Install A Solar System?